Available on PC and Xbox 360, this multiplayer only shooter is, well, for lack of a better term, “utter shit” (my thanks go out to the internet for that quote). I don’t enjoy ragging on video games, and genuinely try to find the positives in any game that I play, but man, Plastic Piranha and 505 Games haven’t given me much to work with. This is derivative, technically poor, artistically bland gaming of the highest order, and with so much competition on the shelves, is all but impossible to recommend.
In fairness to Piranha, their plan to go back to basics, to level the playing field by removing streaks and perks is a solid idea, to open all loadouts from the off could potentially imbue a competitive shooter with a degree of immediacy that gamers with limited free time are likely to appreciate. Honestly, after the endless unlock grind of Battlefield 4 (seriously, how long does it take to unlock anything in that game?), I was more than happy at the prospect of a shooter with no restrictions……sadly, despite this admirable back to basics approach, there really is nothing here to keep you playing. At all.
Yes, the fact that the game is totally score based does lend its structure a certain purity lacking from many of today’s games, the problem is, thanks to the poor gameplay, limited maps and generic presentation, Rekoil really does provide very little incentive to keep you away from its far more illustrious, and let’s be honest, downright superior competitors.
Content and art style aside though, I’d be amazed if many make it past the first match. Above all else, a shooter lives and dies, believe it or not, by its shooting mechanics (despite it being something of a technical marvel, I actually prefer Call of Duty to Battlefield for the simple reason that shooting things in Activision’s finest is simply more fun), and in this respect, Rekoil falls flat on its arse.
Despite the open load out options, just about every gun in Rekoil feels the same, in so much that they all feel jittery and hopelessly inaccurate. Any kind of success feels more a result of chance rather than skill while, despite being just about playable in a run and gun manner ala Counter Strike (see Valve’s masterpiece for this kind of gaming done well), it is absolutely useless as soon as you attempt to use your iron sights. Now, I don’t know how they have done it, but the use of iron sights is so utterly, unbearably useless in Rekoil, that I find it genuinely amazing that the option for “accurate” aiming was left in the game at all. It is even less accurate than firing from the hip, and somehow manages to obscure your view of the already difficult to spot enemies.
With its generic characters, generic locations and even more generic game modes, it’s hard to find any kind of unique or, dare I say admirable qualities amidst this artistic and technical disaster of a video game. There is Rekondite Mode, which, on paper at least sounds pretty interesting, in which one player takes on the role of a melee only, camouflaged bad-ass (think a pretty blatant Predator rip-off) until he is killed and replaced by his assailant, but thanks to some unbearably poor melee attacks and some genuinely baffling design choices, is also reduced to a highly unenjoyable mess of a game mode.
Ugly graphics (this really is one of the worst looking games I have played in a while), horrible mechanics, completely uninspired game modes and a total lack of artistry, yeah, Rekoil: Liberator really is a bit of a shocker. Honestly, the nicest thing I can say about it is that it runs. Getting into games wasn’t a problem and, on the 360 at least, it ran just fine. It’s a shame then, that once in, and once I finally figured out how to actually aim the guns with any kind of accuracy, the game didn’t bother to mark my kills and, after a relatively successful round, informed me that I had a grand total of 1 kill despite dropping at least 6 enemies. Brilliant. Ah well, I’ll get over it; after all, I don’t think I’ll be making a concerted effort to push my way up what I expect to be a very quiet leaderboard.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox 360 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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